Students are often skeptical about the possibility of people genuinely working together when at least their short-term interests appear in conflict. The Homestead Strike is a historical test case that may challenge their skepticism. In this widely used role play, students become participants in one of the most famous strikes in U.S. history, the 1892 strike in Homestead, Pennsylvania.
In the Homestead Strike role play, students begin to explore some of the themes that are important in understanding the relationship between workers, owners, and government, after the 19th century: different types of unions; the role of government intervention; new capital formations that stimulated industry-wide organization among workers.
Battle of Homestead today- students’ favorite parts seem to be when the tugboat Little Bill pulls the Pinkertons up the river and of course Berkman’s hapless assassination attempt. Such a great activity from @ZinnEdProject pic.twitter.com/QEevNyR8ud
— Amelia E Serafine (@AmeliaESerafine) January 31, 2019
The Homestead Strike is one of the 16 labor history lessons available for free download from The Power In Our Hands.